AMSTERDAM – Three time All-American and Indoor World Championship silver medalist Neal Powless has been announced as the head coach for the Dutch National Team that is headed to Denver, replacing Michael O’Neill, who was at the helm of the team during the 2012 European Championships held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Powless was a member of the Iroquois Nationals from 1994 to 2006, playing at four World Championships, was part of the All-World team at the 2002 World Championships in Perth, Australia (with John Grant Jr. and Kevin Lowes) and played in the NLL for seven years, winning a World Championship with the Rochester Knighthawks in 1997.
Powless will be the first Native American lacrosse player to coach a team outside of North America. “It is a tremendous honor for me,” says Powless in an interview. “My true pride has always come from being able to represent the Haudenosaunee (People of the Longhouse) in world lacrosse competition,” said Powless when asked about this opportunity. “It has always been our goal to spread the knowledge of the sport and the beauty of our game. It will be an interesting collaboration for sure, to combine Iroquois and American concepts of the game to the Dutch Lacrosse team.”
Powless was first introduced to the Dutch National Team in 2012 while attending the FIL conference held during the European Championships in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and was later approached by Dutch national team assistant coach Ryan Demorest to become head coach. “I was very excited about the opportunity to spread the game of lacrosse and share some of the expertise that I have learned from playing field lacrosse in the US as well as growing up on the Onondaga Reservation and learning the true origins and roots of the game and respect that goes with The Creators Game,” says Powless.
“My first goal is always to win. Having seen what the guys were able to achieve in 2012, I would like to see the team do very well in pool play and advance to the play-in rounds,” says Powless about his expectations for the 2014 World Championships. “I have been very impressed at every interaction I have had with Dutch players, with their level of athletic ability and dedication to developing their game. I am optimistic that we will surprise a few people.”
The 2014 World Games will be played at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo., from July 9-19, 2014. For more information on the FIL World Games, visit: http://www.worldlacrosse2014.com/landing/index
ABOUT THE DUTCH NATIONAL TEAM
With its league founded in 2003, the Dutch National team made its first appearance in international play at the 2004 European Lacrosse Championships in Prague, Czech Republic. The team has made appearances in every major tournament since then, with standout performances during the 2008 European Championships, finishing second after a loss to England in the final, and in 2010, where they ended eighth with a 5-3 record.